Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chana Dal~Amaranth Curry from Nandyala

Sanagaballa Thotakura :

Fresh Amaranth Leaves (Red Spinach, Thotakura)

Regional Cuisines of India (RCI), a fresh food blogging event is started by Lakshmik of Veggie Cuisine last month. I loved this event idea very much. Great opportunity for those of us who would like to move away from restaurant created regional cuisine constraints. For example, stereotypes always associate dosa, sambar, green beans-coconut curry/poriyal and laddus with South India. The four southern sister states of India, share these. They are the Kohinoors, I agree but explore further, the chance to write/learn about the khajana of gems that sustain individual home plates are plenty. Certain recipes are much hard to find than others and that location is different for every enthusiast. You never quite know where you will find that great regional gem recipe that speaks to you. That’s why I am attracted to this concept very much. For this month, RCI is celebrating Andhra Cuisine and is hosted by lovely Latha of Masala Magic.

Although I am from Andhra Pradesh, India, I don’t dare to speak for all Andhra vasi. What can I do is to share my family recipes from Nandyala. My mother and father, my in-laws, they are all from this town and surrounding villages. The relations we have in this town go back at least 4 generations. The roots are deep. Nandyala may be a tiny town in Andhra but it sparkles like an electric dream at my blog, Mahanandi. Vijay and I are the first ones in the family who moved so far away from Nandyala. I think, that explains why the pull is so strong for us.

RCI provides me another chance to share Nandyala bounty. One special recipe is Chana dal-Amaranth Curry. The ingredients are all from around here (Seattle), but the method is from Nandyala. Fresh amaranth leaves and chana dal saut�ed with onions, grated coconut and green chillies make a deeply satisfying curry that tastes great with sorghum roti or with chapatis. Very tasty, very much Nandyala! Another must try for amaranth fans.

Chopped Amaranth Leaves and Chana Dal (Pre soaked in water)


I bunch fresh amaranth – washed and finely chopped, about 2 quarts
Half cup chana dal – soaked in water for about 2 hours
1 jumbo red onion – finely chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut and 5 green chillies – grind to smooth

Popu or tadka ingredients –
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon minced garlic, cumin and mustard seeds

Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add and toast garlic, cumin and mustard seeds.

Add and saute onion and chana dal on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Onions become soft and chana dal turns to crisp.

At this stage, stir in the chopped amaranth leaves, along with coconut-green chilli paste, turmeric. Mix once and cook on medium-high, covered for couple of minutes until the leaves wilt. Increase the heat. Remove the lid and cook another couple of minutes until the water evaporates from the skillet. Sprinkle salt in the end, mix and serve hot.

The soft nutty chana dal plus potent amaranth makes a great combination and tastes quite good when eaten with sorghum roti or with chapatis.

Sanagaballa Thotakura with Chapati (Chana Dal Amaranth Curry with Chapati)
~ A recipe from Nandyala to Latha’s RCI Andhra Cuisine Event

Recipe Source: Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chana Dal,Thotakura (Amaranth) (Tuesday May 8, 2007 at 10:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

27 comments for Chana Dal~Amaranth Curry from Nandyala »

  1. The same dish with chayote squash is equally delicious. This is the first time I see chana dal with a green. Looks perfect with roti.

    Comment by Suganya — May 8, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  2. Hi Indira, it looks yummy and delicious too. Never heard about the combo of chanadal with green leaves. Thanks for sharing a nice recipe.

    Comment by Jyothi — May 8, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

  3. Wow! i make this type of dry daal too (with palak ofcourse!), but thotakura is something else…..i love that wrap you prepared with the daal.Must try it surely is!


    Comment by musical — May 8, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

  4. Hi Suganya, chayote squash version sounds great. I will definitely try. Thanks.

    It’s my pleasure, thanks Jyothi.

    Hi Musical, we also prepare this same curry with spinach. I think you’ll definitely like this amaranth version.
    I purchased Sujata brand atta recently and the chapatis are coming out like silk. So thin and smooth.:)

    Comment by Indira — May 8, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

  5. Indira, my mom simply adores thotakura and makes this often . It tastes great with hot rice and some ghee too!

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — May 8, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  6. That is a healthy,healthy combination…let me try giving K this instead of the Protein shakes he drinks after a day at the gym. He’ll give Popeye a run for his money in no time..of course, I’ll be substituting Spinach,but the method will be yours all the way.

    Comment by Trupti — May 9, 2007 @ 5:13 am

  7. Oh Thotakoora – brings back fond memories. Thanks for this recipe Indira, I will definitely try with Spinach as I have not seen Thotakura in any grocery store here. I very much agree with your thoughts on regional cuisine, esp in Andhra; the dishes made vary so much from district to district or even town to town – the best thing is sharing the variety by means of this global community. Great work as always!

    Comment by Nav — May 9, 2007 @ 6:05 am

  8. any recipe with amaranth leaves is a gift. thank you, indira. those, and drumstick leaves are my favourite greens. mathy is taking care of that department 🙂

    Comment by bee — May 9, 2007 @ 6:16 am

  9. nav, we don’t get thotakura fresh here either. in the frozen section, look for ‘tandaljo’. it’s the gujju word for amaranth.

    Comment by bee — May 9, 2007 @ 6:17 am

  10. Indira, looks yummy. My mom used to make it with bachali kura.

    Comment by GD — May 9, 2007 @ 6:37 am

  11. Looks Yummy and very healthy …Thks for sharing indira

    Comment by Deepa — May 9, 2007 @ 7:08 am

  12. Hey Indira:
    Since Amaranth seems to be the flavor of the month here…here’s an Amaranth related question. Do you know how one could use amaranth seeds? I have a bottle of that stuff sitting in my pantry…a gift from a friend. As usual I love the pictures. Most of the online recipes seem terribly contrived and boring.

    Comment by anyesha — May 9, 2007 @ 8:50 am

  13. Nav & Bee: Do try the Chinese grocery stores. They also carry Amaranth leaves.

    //drumstick leaves are my favourite greens. mathy is taking care of that department//

    Bee: So many bloggers are taking care of quite a few favourites of mine. Am glad that i’m taking care of one for you.. 😉


    Comment by Mathy Kandasamy — May 9, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  14. This is great! I always associate amaranth leaves (vlita in Greek) with our rural Greek summers. Never thought of making a curry out of them. Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Susan in Italy — May 9, 2007 @ 11:42 am


    special greetings

    from sweden

    Comment by MAHANANDIA PK — May 9, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

  16. I guess our local desi grocer is lazy and ignorant, he never gets any Indian frozen vegetables!! But i will get thotakura soon for East Asian store :). Am glad you also liked Sujata atta :).

    Comment by musical — May 9, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  17. Hi Indira, that is a healthy, delicious recipe. Even though I’m from AP, many of the dishes on different Andhra blogs are completely new to me. Its one of the biggest advantage of blog hopping to get to know our own cuisine better. Thanks for sharing an authentic recipe.

    Comment by Pavani — May 9, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

  18. wow looks so good Indira!

    Comment by Roopa — May 9, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  19. Indira, What does ‘Sanagaballa’ mean? Channa dal?

    Looks divine as usual. Your sorghum roti looks so thin and nice, the only time I attempted it, it came out very thick. That was the last time I tried it. 🙂

    Comment by Kay — May 10, 2007 @ 8:17 am

  20. Sheesh! Thats roti, not sorghum. speed reading and me aren’t a good combo. sorry!

    Comment by Kay — May 10, 2007 @ 8:18 am

  21. Hi Indira

    Nice entry for RCI – Andhra Cuisine. The thotakura curry looks yummy.

    Comment by Lakshmik — May 10, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  22. Hi Indira,
    Lovely Lovely entry! So simple yet classic!
    Its been a while. I have been so busy with work and my parents arriving that I have not had time to visit my favorite blogs! I am glad i stopped by today.
    A treat to the eyes your chapathi and koora 🙂
    We are visiting Seattle for the July 4th weekend. And my thoughts immediately went to you 🙂 My cousin lives there and we have been planning a visit that has been long overdue 🙂


    Comment by Latha — May 10, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  23. Thanks all for your comments. It’s great to see fellow fans of fresh amaranth.

    Hi Anyesha: I am still in fresh leaves infatuation stage not yet approached the seeds. But I did found few interesting recipes. Here is the link. Grits/upma style and stew style in tomato sauce. Hope this helps.

    Mathy: I agree with Bee. Your posts on drumstick leaves and also the green recipes you have blogged for JFI-Greens event – really informative and a delight to read. Plus I can get all those here.:)

    Hi Susan, nice to know that Greeks also cook with fresh amaranth.

    Thanks Nav and Pavani. Hope you get to try it.

    Yes, Kay. Sanagaballu/sanagapappu = chana dal and thotakura = amaranth leaves.
    So many names it gets confusing sometimes.:)

    LakshmiK: Thanks very much for starting this wonderful event. I love the idea behind it.

    Hi Latha, you must be quite busy. Have a great time with amma and nanna. And please say hello to your mom for me.
    July 4th in Seattle? That’s wonderful! I look forward to meeting you.

    Comment by Indira — May 10, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

  24. Hello,

    I just made this delicious recipe! I have never had anything quite like it (I assume the chana dal are supposed to be rather dry?), and I found it to be delicious. I study weeds and had just been teaching my students about amaranth, and so I was excited to find the greens for sale at the
    Chinese grocery. A quick search led me to your site and I’ve been wanting to try new legumes, so this recipe seemed perfect. I wasn’t sure what form of coconut you meant, so I used canned coconut milk (that’s all I had on hand). I ate it with flour tortillas and a baked sweet potato and it was wonderful. Thank you for the tasty recipe and a great way to turn ‘weeds’ into food.

    Comment by Lillian — September 23, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

  25. Looks hearty and very comforting.
    Could you tell me what are ‘Amaranth’ leaves called in Urdu/Hindi

    They are sold as “keerai” in Indian grocery shops and as “Chinese Spinach” in Chinese/Vietnamese grocery shops. You can easily identify them by their leaves. Green with red streaks like shown in the photos.

    Comment by Mona — March 13, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

  26. […] Chana Dal~Amaranth Curry from Nandyala. Sanagaballa Thotakura : Fresh Amaranth Leaves (Red Spinach, Thotakura) Regional Cuisines of India (RCI), a fresh food blogging event is started by Lakshmik of Veggie Cuisine last month. […]

    Pingback by Food | Pearltrees — July 30, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  27. […] Chana Dal~Amaranth Curry from Nandyala. Sanagaballa Thotakura : Fresh Amaranth Leaves (Red Spinach, Thotakura) Regional Cuisines of India (RCI), a fresh food blogging event is started by Lakshmik of Veggie Cuisine last month. to experience pearltrees activate javascript. […]

    Pingback by Sides dish recipies | Pearltrees — July 30, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

Your Comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).